Mehdipour et al v. C Craig Cole and Associates et al
ORDER REMANDING the case back to the Oklahoma County District Court for an entry of judgment pursuant to the valid order of dismissal, and Vacating as Moot all pending motions filed with this Court (as more fully set out in the order). Signed by Judge Patrick R Wyrick on 1/7/2022. (ks)
Case 5:21-cv-00684-PRW Document 13 Filed 01/07/22 Page 1 of 5
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
FARAMARZ MEHDIPOUR and ALI
C. CRAIG COLE & ASSOCIATES,
CINDY H. TRUONG, and APRIL D.
Case No. CIV-21-00684-PRW
Before the Court are two separate motions to dismiss—Defendants Cindy H. Truong
and April D. Collins’ Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 5) with Plaintiffs Faramarz and Ali
Mehdipour’s Response in Opposition (Dkt. 12), and Defendant C. Craig Cole &
Associates’ Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 6) with Plaintiffs’ Response in Opposition (Dkt. 11).
Since the Oklahoma County District Court entered an order of dismissal prior to the
effective removal of this case from state court, the Court REMANDS the case back to the
Oklahoma County District Court for entry of judgment and VACATES AS MOOT both
motions to dismiss.
Faramarz Mehdipour and Ali Mehdipour filed this case against Oklahoma County
District Judge Cindy H. Truong and C. Craig Cole & Associates, generally alleging that
Judge Truong and the law firm had conspired to deprive the Mehdipours of their Due
Case 5:21-cv-00684-PRW Document 13 Filed 01/07/22 Page 2 of 5
Process rights through fraudulent and bad-faith litigation. The Mehdipours later amended
their complaint to also include Special Judge April D. Collins. The various defendants
employed different strategies to address the suit—Judge Truong and Judge Collins decided
to remove the case to federal court, while C. Craig Cole & Associates decided to seek
dismissal of the case while still in state court. On July 7, 2021, Judge Truong and Judge
Collins filed a Notice of Removal with this Court. 1 Two days later, on July 9, 2021, the
Oklahoma County District Court ordered the case dismissed. 2 Later that same day—after
the order of dismissal was entered—Judge Truong and Judge Collins notified the state court
and the Medhipours of the removal to federal court by filing a “Notice of Notice of
Removal” in the state court. 3
28 U.S.C. § 1446 provides the general procedure and statutory authority for
removing a case from state court to federal court. Of particular relevance to this case are
subsections 1446(a) and 1446(d). Subsection 1446(a) states:
A defendant or defendants desiring to remove any civil action
from a State court shall file in the district court of the United
States for the district and division within which such action is
pending a notice of removal signed pursuant to Rule 11 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and containing a short and
plain statement of the grounds for removal, together with a
copy of all process, pleadings, and orders served upon such
defendant or defendants in such action.
See Notice of Removal (Dkt. 1).
See Court Order (Dkt. 6, Ex. 2).
See Docket Sheet (Dkt. 6, Ex. 1), at 5.
Case 5:21-cv-00684-PRW Document 13 Filed 01/07/22 Page 3 of 5
Subsection 1446(d) states:
Promptly after the filing of such notice of removal of a civil
action the defendant or defendants shall give written notice
thereof to all adverse parties and shall file a copy of the notice
with the clerk of such State court, which shall effect the
removal and the State court shall proceed no further unless and
until the case is remanded.
Since the process of removal is entirely a statutory right, the relevant procedures to
effect removal must be followed. 4 A removal that does not fully comply with the express
statutory requirements is incomplete. 5 Subsections 1446(a) and 1446(d) combine to
establish three clear steps to effectuate a removal: (1) filing a notice of removal in federal
court, (2) giving prompt written notice to adverse parties, and (3) filing a copy of the notice
in state court. Although some courts believe that removal is effective from the time the
notice of removal is filed with the federal court, the clear language of the statute itself
indicates completion of all three steps is required to “effect the removal.”6 Both this Court
and the Tenth Circuit have previously adopted this approach. 7 Each of the three required
steps “provides important notice to a relevant actor: the federal court, the adverse parties,
See, e.g., De La Rosa v. Reliable, Inc., 113 F. Supp. 3d 1135, 1155 (D.N.M. 2015
See id.; see also Huffman v. Saul Holdings Ltd. Partnership, 194 F.3d 1072, 1077 (10th
28 U.S.C. § 1446(d).
See Bundy v. Progressive Direct Ins. Co, 762 F. Supp. 2d 1336, 1337 n.2 (W.D. Okla.
2011); see also Browning v. Am. Family Mutual Ins. Co., 396 F. App’x 496, 505 (10th Cir.
2010) (“Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d) removal is effected by the defendant’s taking three
procedural steps: filing a notice of removal in federal court, giving prompt written notice
to adverse parties and filing a copy of the notice in state court.”). The Court cites
unpublished decisions of the Tenth Circuit for their persuasive value, consistent with Tenth
Cir. R. 32.1 and Fed. R. App. P. 32.1.
Case 5:21-cv-00684-PRW Document 13 Filed 01/07/22 Page 4 of 5
and the state court.” 8 Indeed, as one leading treatise observed, it would be odd for removal
to be effectuated after only the filing of notice with the federal court, since otherwise “a
state court [could] be stripped of its jurisdiction even though it has not received notice of
Although after removal of a case from state court to federal court the state court
must “proceed no further,” 10 the federal court must also give “full force and effect” to all
“injunctions, orders, and other proceedings . . . in such action prior to its removal.” 11 As
the Supreme Court observed, “Congress clearly intended to preserve the effectiveness of
state court orders after removal . . . . the federal court ‘takes the case up where the State
court left it off.’” 12 In other words, an order entered by the state court prior to the
completion of the steps of removal—prior to the effectuation of a removal—is valid and
fully enforceable. Here, the Oklahoma County District Court ordered this case dismissed
after the removal process began but before all removal steps were completed. Since that
Browning, 396 F. App’x at 505.
14C Wright & Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, § 3736 Procedure for Removal—
When Removal is Effective; Further Proceedings in State Court (rev. 4th ed.) (concluding
“the sounder rule, and the one most consistent with the language of Section 1446(d) of
Title 28, is that removal is not effective until the defendant has taken all the steps required
by the federal statute”); see also American Law Institute, Study of the Division of
Jurisdiction Between State & Federal Courts, Official Draft, at 357 (1969) (“It is unseemly
to have state courts passing on matters, only to learn later that they had no jurisdiction.”).
28 U.S.C. § 1446(d).
28 U.S.C. § 1450.
Granny Goose Foods v. Bhd. of Teamsters, Local No. 70, 415 U.S. 423, 436 (1974)
(quoting Duncan v. Gegan, 101 U.S. 810, 812 (1880)).
Case 5:21-cv-00684-PRW Document 13 Filed 01/07/22 Page 5 of 5
order of dismissal was validly entered prior to this Court assuming jurisdiction over the
case, it must be enforced.
As an order of dismissal terminated this case prior to the completion of removal as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1446 and applicable precedents, this Court cannot consider any
matters in this case. Accordingly, the Court REMANDS the case back to the Oklahoma
County District Court for an entry of judgment pursuant to the valid order of dismissal, and
VACATES AS MOOT all pending motions filed with this Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED the 7th day of January 2022.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?